Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Running Oracle JET in Oracle Cloud Free Tier

OOW'19 stands up from recent years OOW conferences with important announcement - Oracle Cloud Free Tier offering. This offering includes two free DB instances and two free compute VM instances. What else you could wish for the side and hobby projects? This is a strong move by Oracle and it should boost Oracle Cloud. Read more about it in Oracle Cloud Free Tier page.



It was interesting to test how to deploy Oracle JET app to Oracle Always Free instance of compute VM. I will not go through the initial steps, related how to create VM instance and enable internet access (for the port 80). You can read all that in a nice write up from Dimitri Gielis post.

Assuming you already have created Oracle JET app and want to deploy it. One way would be to set up Node.js and Nginx on the compute VM and pull app source code from Git. I prefer another way - to go through Docker container, Nginx would act as HTTP server to redirect requests to Docker container port. But in this post for simplicity reasons, we are not going to look into Nginx setup - will focus only on JET deployment through Docker container.

1. Create an empty Node application (follow these steps):

express --view=pug

2. Add dependencies, go into the Node app and run:

npm install

3. Copy Oracle JET content from web folder into Node app public folder (remove existing files)

4. Inside Node app, adjust app.js file, comment out these lines:

var usersRouter = require('./routes/users');

app.set('view engine', 'pug');

app.use('/users', usersRouter);

5. Keep only index.js file in router folder

6. Remove template files from views folder

7. Update index.js file to redirect to Oracle JET index.html

router.get('/', function(req, res, next) {
  //res.render('index', { title: 'Express' });
  res.sendFile('index.html', {root: './public/'});
});

8. Note down port 3000 info from bin/www, this is the port Node app will run in Docker container

9. Create Dockerfile inside Node app folder (follow these steps). Content:

FROM node:10

# Create app directory
WORKDIR /usr/src/app

# Install app dependencies
# A wildcard is used to ensure both package.json AND package-lock.json are copied
# where available (npm@5+)
COPY package*.json ./

RUN npm install
# If you are building your code for production
# RUN npm ci --only=production

# Bundle app source
COPY . .

EXPOSE 3000
CMD [ "node", "./bin/www" ]

10. Create .dockerignore file. Content:

node_modules
npm-debug.log

11. Build Docker image locally, by running below command inside Node app:

docker build -t username/imagename -f ./Dockerfile .

12. Push Docker container to Docker Hub. This way we will be able to pull container from Oracle compute VM in the cloud:

docker push username/imagename

---

Next steps are executed inside Oracle compute VM. You should connect through SSH to run below commands.

13. Install Docker (run sudo su):

yum install docker-engine

14. Enable Docker:

systemctl enable docker

15. Start Docker:

systemctl start docker

16. Check Docker status:

systemctl status docker.service

17. Check Docker version:

docker version

18. Login into Docker Hub, to be able to pull the container with Node app. If login doesn't work (access permission issue), run this command: sudo usermod -a -G docker $USER

docker login

19. Run container:

docker run -p 80:3000 -d --name appname username/imagename

Node app with Oracle JET content can be accessed by port 80 using public IP of your Oracle container VM: http://130.61.241.30/index.html

Oracle JET app runs on Oracle container VM free tier:

Monday, September 23, 2019

Comprehensive TensorFlow.js Example

I have implemented an app which includes TensorFlow.js API usage. First I will walk you through the app functionality and then will dive into implementation details. This app implements a business report execution time prediction use case (this time in JavaScript), which was explained in my previous post — Report Time Execution Prediction with Keras and TensorFlow.

Read more in my Towards Data Science post.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Using Web Worker for Long Tasks in Oracle JET

JavaScript app runs in a single thread. This means if there is a long-running resource-intensive operation - the thread will be blocked and the page will stay frozen until operation completes. Obviously, this is not user-friendly and such behavior should be avoided. We can use Web Workers, through Web Workers we could run long-running operations in separate threads, without blocking the main thread. Code running in Web Worker doesn't have access to UI DOM, this means logic coded in Web Worker should operate with logic which is not directly related to UI.

Sample app contains commented code in dashboard.js. This code blocks main thread for 10 seconds, if you uncomment it - you will see that app becomes frozen for 10 seconds:


Web Worker is defined in dashboard.js. Web Worker is a separate JS file, which is being used for Worker object. API allows to send and receive messages, this way we can communicate to and from Web Worker (start a new task and receive message when task is completed):


Web Worker code - onmessage invoked when the message arrives from the main thread. postMessage sends message back to the main thread:


The sample app is available on GitHub repo.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Oracle JET - How To Reference JavaScript Module in HTML

I will explain how to reference JavaScript module function in Oracle JET HTML. In previous Oracle JET versions, we were using $root to access parent appController module. Syntax $root looks a bit like magic, it is better to reference module through a predefined variable. I will show you how.

Sample app comes with number converter, which helps to format numeric value. For convenience reasons and better reuse, number formatting function is moved to a separate module. Our goal is to call function self.convertNumericValue from converter module inside our module HTML:


Import the converter module into your target module. Make sure to define a variable for the import. Then define the local variable and assign it with the value pointing to the imported module. This will allow calling functions from the imported module, anywhere within our target module:


To demonstrate how it works, I will include a call to format number for the table column. I have defined a table column template for that reason:


Within the template, I'm calling converter (function is called by referencing local variable) to format number:


It works well, the column with salary values is formatted by function from the imported module:


A sample application is available on my GiHub repo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Oracle JET Model ID Attribute

When building Oracle JET Model/Collection structure to render table, you should be careful defining ID attribute. This attribute must have unique values only, if there will be duplicates in ID, then table rows will be rendered incorrectly.

Take as example below structure for Employees REST endpoint. EmployeId attribute provides unique values and it should be defined as ID for JET model:


Let's try and see what happens when non-unique DepartmentId attribute is set for a key in JET model:


In this case, during data fetch and UI table rendering (specifically when navigating to the next page of the table) - JET runtime for the table will get confused and will fetch all of the records from the backend (definitely, not what we want):


Ok, change it to the proper one - use EmployeeId for the ID in JET model:


The table works as expected:


Lesson learned - make sure to use an attribute with unique values for JET model ID. If there is no single attribute with unique values, the concatenate multiple attributes on the backend to construct a single attribute with unique value.

Source code is available from my GitHub repo.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Report Time Execution Prediction with Keras and TensorFlow

The aim of this post is to explain Machine Learning to software developers in hands-on terms. Model is based on a common use case in enterprise systems — predicting wait time until the business report is generated.

Report generation in business applications typically takes time, it can be from a few seconds to minutes. Report generation requires time, because typically it would fetch and process many records, this process needs time. Users often get frustrated, they don’t know how long to wait until the report is finished and may go away by closing browser, etc. If we could inform user, before submitting the report request — how it long it will take to execute it, this would be great usability improvement.

I have implemented Machine Learning model using Keras regression to calculate expected report execution time, based on training data (logged information from the past report executions). Keras is a library which wraps TensorFlow complexity into simple and user-friendly API.

Python source code and training data is available on my GitHub repo. This code is based on Keras tutorial.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fix for Oracle VBCS "Error 404--Not Found"

We are using Pay As You Go Oracle VBCS instance and had an issue with accessing VBCS home page after starting the service. The service was started successfully, without errors. But when accessing VBCS home page URL - "Error 404--Not Found" was returned.

I raised a support ticket and must say - received the response and help promptly. If you would encounter similar issue yourself, hopefully, this post will share some light.

Apparently "Error 404--Not Found" was returned, because VBCS instance wasn't initialized during instance start. It wasn't initialized, because of expired password for VBCS DB schemas. Yes, you read it right - internal system passwords expire in Cloud too.

Based on the instructions given by Oracle Support, I was able to extract logs from VBCS WebLogic instance (by connecting through SSH to VBCS cloud machine) and provide it to support team (yes, VBCS runs on WebLogic). They found password expire errors in the log, similar to this:

weblogic.application.ModuleException: java.sql.SQLException: ORA-28001: the password has expired

Based on provided instructions, I extracted VBCS DB schema name and connected through SQL developer. Then I executed SQL statement given by support team to reset all VBCS DB passwords in bulk. Next password expiry is set for 2019/January. Should it expire at all?

Summary: If you would encounter "Error 404--Not Found" after starting VBCS instance and trying to access VBCS home page, then most likely (but not always) it will be related to VBCS DB schema password expiry issue.